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Great Moments in Core Four love

May 14, 2013, 1:00 PM EDT

joba chamberlain getty Getty Images

The Core Four: Derek Jeter. Mariano Rivera. Jorge Posada. And, um, maybe Clay Bellinger? I forget. Not important.

What is important is that for years Yankees writers have always made sure to protect the necks of those guys, particularly Jeter and Rivera. Woe be unto anyone who is insufficiently reverent of them and woe, woe, woe be unto any Yankees player who has any kind of dustup with them for they shall be told, in no uncertain terms, that they are not the True Yankees and Gentlemen that Rivera, Jeter and — man, I wanna say Brosius? — are.

Such is the case with Wallace Matthews and Joba Chamberlain today. The Joba Chamberlain who shushed Mariano Rivera the other day was shushed by Mariano Rivera the other day and reacted angrily to it. It was a scandal of something a million miles less than epic proportions, it’s over now and it’s meaningless, but you wouldn’t believe it to read Matthews. This silly little incident is, it seems, a referendum on Joba Chamberlain as a human being and Matthews spares no purple prose in telling us just how much less of a human and a pitcher Chamberlain is than Rivera is in making his point.

Which, thanks! Because before this I was certain that Chamberlain was a better pitcher than Rivera and now I know differently.

Seriously, though, you have to read it to believe it in all of its overwrought glory:

In the same ballpark where Mariano Rivera’s Yankees career nearly ended a year ago on the warning track, Joba Chamberlain’s Yankees tenure surely did in the dugout, his mouth writing what will soon be the epitaph to a career that turned out to be no more than a broken promise.

So confused. If the promise was broken, was it not false? And might that mean now that his mouth is, um, writing something other than an epitaph? Chamberlain is the Master of Lies! Maybe he is deceiving us!

Also note that, once again, Joba playing with his son on a trampoline is seen as a character flaw. That never gets old. And there is a passage in which Matthews suggests that Rivera would surely forgive Chamberlain where others might not. I was hoping he’d go with a full-on Jesus comparison at that point, but he used his deft writer’s touch to only suggest it. Probably wanted to avoid potential blasphemy in saying His name too many times or something.

In any event, this is so beyond parody of the Sucking Up to the True Yankees genre that I have to wonder if Matthews has gone completely meta on us and this is, rather, a COMMENT on all of that.  If so, well-played, Wallace.

  1. Stacey - May 14, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    He’s not being meta. He’s being Wallace Matthews.

  2. captainwisdom8888 - May 14, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    “The shush heard round’ the worrrrrldd.”

    SHUT UP ABOUT THIS NON-STORY ALREADY!

    SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. therealtrenches - May 14, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Thank you captain. I thought I was at the blue-haired-old-lady social club for a second there.

  4. kendallsalter - May 14, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    This is a little overblown, yes.

    –Capt. Obvious

    • kendallsalter - May 14, 2013 at 1:23 PM

      And Matthews got 1000+ words out of it!

      • chip56 - May 14, 2013 at 1:25 PM

        You have to understand that with the Yankees in 1st all the writers have to fill space that they prepared to use to report the demise of the team.

  5. chip56 - May 14, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    When Joba’s Yankee career comes to the end after this season the book on him will read:

    “Was supposed to be the ‘next big pitcher’ turns out he was just big.” Joba’s a loudmouthed troll who isn’t happy unless people are talking about him. He started the confrontation with Rivera for that reason just the same as he whined about Youkilis not returning his texts at the start of spring training.

    • Kevin S. - May 14, 2013 at 4:38 PM

      Pretty sure Rivera started… whatever that was. It sure wasn’t a confrontation.

  6. randygnyc - May 14, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Craig- this article is a mess. Mo shushed Joba, not the other way around. And it was cute how you feigned forgetfulness that Pettitte is the 4th guy, the first time in the article. It was disrespectful the second time.

    • manute - May 14, 2013 at 2:04 PM

      Disrespecting the Core Four >>>>>>> Disrespecting the Bing

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 14, 2013 at 2:57 PM

      Why don’t you explain to me the precise manner in which I must show respect to fake promotional construct Yankees fans and media have created.

      • randygnyc - May 14, 2013 at 5:33 PM

        Well, since you asked, the proper protocol is to address him as Mr. And don’t ever let your eyes meet his.

  7. thebadguyswon - May 14, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    When did the term Core Four come about? 09? They weren’t referring to that term much before that.

    • dowhatifeellike - May 14, 2013 at 3:01 PM

      I had never heard of that term until today.

      • cackalackyank - May 14, 2013 at 3:31 PM

        I thought it was the Beatles….then someone pointed out that was the Fab four

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 14, 2013 at 3:36 PM

      IIRC, it started when Pettitte rejoined the Yanks. It was mainly a promotional thing because you had these 4* players who had played together for so long, which I believe (Posada/Rivera/Jeter) was a first in baseball for that time period (*Pettitte is thrown in with the 4, but conveniently no one tends to bring up how he left for Hou…).

      • thebadguyswon - May 14, 2013 at 3:42 PM

        Gotcha….thanks.

  8. jaguar0413 - May 14, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    Craig Craig CRAIG. Don’t be hating on my man Scotty Brosius. Dude was a gamer. Don’t minimize his accomplishments by lumping him together with Joba and Clay Bellinger. He was an important player on those 3 in a row World Series Champs teams from ’98-’00. He was a World Series MVP. He hit a 9th inning game tying home run in the 2001 World Series. That man was as much a Yankee as any of the Core Four.

  9. mplsjoe - May 14, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Matthews said:

    “In fact, [Chamberlin] is not the kind of person fit to represent the New York Yankees, at least not the Yankees typified by Rivera, Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte.”

    Andy Pettitte? The same Andy Pettitte who repeatedly used steroids, then repeatedly lied about whether and how often he used steroids? Andy Pettitte is the gold standard?

    • American of African Descent - May 14, 2013 at 3:07 PM

      No. He’s talking about the Andy Pettitte who left the Yankees for a time to go play in Houston.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 14, 2013 at 3:38 PM

      Andy Pettitte? The same Andy Pettitte who repeatedly used steroids, then repeatedly lied about whether and how often he used steroids? Andy Pettitte is the gold standard?

      When did Pettitte repeatedly use steroids, and lie about them? He said he used HGH for an injury, which aren’t ‘roids, and he told the truth about it when confronted during grand jury testimony.

      • mplsjoe - May 14, 2013 at 4:04 PM

        From Pettitte’s Wikipedia entry:

        Pettitte was one of several Yankees named in the Mitchell Report, released on December 13, 2007. Mitchell and his staff received the information on Pettitte from McNamee, who told them he injected Pettitte with HGH on 2–4 occasions in 2002 so that he would heal from an elbow injury quicker. Pettitte verified McNamee’s claim, admitting to using the HGH on two occasions in 2002, as it was meant to help heal an injury, and not to enhance his performance. * * * He denied any further usage of HGH during his career; he also denied use of steroids or any other performance-enhancing drug.

        On February 13, 2008, in an affidavit made public as part of a hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Governmental Reform, Pettitte admitted to additional injections of HGH twice in one day in 2004, using HGH obtained via prescription for his seriously ill father.

        So…in 2007 Pettitte admitting using HGH in 2002 but said it was a one-time time. In 2008, he admitted that he also had used HGH in 2004. You’re right that I should have used the generic term PEDs rather than the specific “steroids,” but he still lied about it.

      • paperlions - May 14, 2013 at 4:09 PM

        Well, we don’t know if he told the truth or not, we only know what he said….which at one point was that he used HGH once, then he said he used it twice (two injections, same day).

      • forsch31 - May 14, 2013 at 4:32 PM

        Did you actually quote Wikipedia as proof? Hee…hahahahaHAHAHAHAHA!

      • mplsjoe - May 14, 2013 at 6:56 PM

        I used Wikipedia as shorthand. Is there anything in that entry with which you disagree?

        Paperlions got it right: we only know what Pettitte said. First he said he used HGH once, and on no other occasions. Then, later, he admitted he used more than once. He knew, when he spoke about the 2002 incident, that he wasn’t telling the truth.

  10. bigharold - May 14, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    How do “shush” Matthews?? Do we need to take up a petition, .. write a Congressman, .. form a grass roots committee?

  11. randygnyc - May 14, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    Mplsjoe- I missed that. Can you tell me how Andy denied/lied about using steroids?

    • dowhatifeellike - May 14, 2013 at 2:58 PM

      He never lied about using steroids, he just admitted to using HGH on multiple occasions: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3156305

    • mplsjoe - May 14, 2013 at 4:07 PM

      Pettitte * * * admitt[ed] to using the HGH on two occasions in 2002, as it was meant to help heal an injury, and not to enhance his performance. * * * He denied any further usage of HGH during his career; he also denied use of steroids or any other performance-enhancing drug.

      On February 13, 2008, in an affidavit made public as part of a hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Governmental Reform, Pettitte admitted to additional injections of HGH twice in one day in 2004, using HGH obtained via prescription for his seriously ill father.

      So he didn’t just use in 2002 to come back from an injury, as he claimed. He also used in 2004.

      • Kevin S. - May 14, 2013 at 4:41 PM

        Yeah, he didn’t say anything about the 2004 usage until he was under oath because he didn’t want to throw his ailing father, who had gotten it for him, under the bus. Can’t say I really blame him on that one.

      • mplsjoe - May 14, 2013 at 6:54 PM

        Why would he have had to throw his father under the bus? He didn’t need to say anything about from where he got the HGH. Nor would he have had to say that his father gave it to him. He could have said, in 2007, “Hey, I used HGH in 2002 and 2004. That’s it. I’m sorry.” Instead, he copped to whatever incident for which there was already evidence: the Mitchell report and its sources, or the affidavit filed in federal court (for the 2004 incident). In other words, Pettitte tells the truth when he is forced by circumstance to do so.

        None of this would matter much if Pettitte wasn’t constantly being held up as a pillar of the community and the only honest PED user in the game. It just bugs me that he can use and lie about it, and somehow – probably because he plays for the Yankees and because he’s a nice guy – no one calls him on it.

  12. snowbirdgothic - May 14, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    THE YANKEES WHINGE! THEEEEEEEEE YANKEES WHINGE!

  13. djpostl - May 14, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    Joba should shut the fuck up lol.

    Since when did “spending time with your family” become “I can be so fucking loud I drown out every other person around”?

    Family or not, he should have removed his head from his ass and noticed an interview gong on nearby and given the person, no matter who it was, more respect.

    I’d have shushed his fat ass too.

  14. psousa1 - May 14, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    Everyone knows that Andy Pettite was forcibly restrained by Roger Clemens and injected with HGH against his will. Then Clemens told him – “If you tell anyone about this I will kill your dog”.

  15. shanabartels - May 14, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    Wally has outdone himself.

  16. moogro - May 14, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    Randy is boring

  17. deathmonkey41 - May 14, 2013 at 7:30 PM

    The Core Four: Derek Jeter. Mariano Rivera. Jorge Posada. And, um, maybe Clay Bellinger? I forget. Not important.

    Craig, stop being a pompous idiot. Everyone knows it was Karim Garcia.

  18. hockeyflow33 - May 15, 2013 at 1:18 AM

    I wonder the writer takes issue with the fact that he brings no discernible skill to the table other than the ability to critique others.

  19. jfk69 - May 15, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    If Rivera or Jeter shushed me. I would take out my harmonica like Phil Linz and play Mary had a little lamb so loud Berra would hear it back in New Jersey. Mantle would have told me to play it louder…lol.

  20. scoocha - May 15, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    1) Absolute non-story
    2) Everyone knows Chamberlain is gone after this season regardless
    3) Trampolines are some of the most dangerous things to play with, yet for some reason Craig finds it perfectly permissible for a grown athlete
    4) Yes, the Yankees beat the Braves in the 1990s, it’s over Craig, move on

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